My name is Vinod Angadathu George and I was born on the 1st of January 1985 in Kundara, Kollam, which is in the southern region part of Kerala, India. At my simple profession, I took the name, Vinod Angadathu George of St. Rita of Cascia. My parish is St. Rita’s Church, Nanthirikal which belongs to the Diocese of Kollam, Kerala. I am the last child in my family of three (2 elder brothers). My father, George Sebastian is a farmer and my mother, Daisy George is a house wife. My eldest brother, Jose. A.G is a painter and my elder brother, Crispin. A.G works in a fish exporting company.
I did my primary studies in St. Margaret’s L.P. School (1990-1994), Kanjiracode, Kollam. Then I continued my upper primary studies and high school studies (1994- 2000) in St. Antony’s H.S.S, Kanjiracode, Kollam. Since childhood, I had a desire to become a priest. Because I was born into a traditional Catholic family, my parents were very religious. My mother led all of us in the Christian faith and we had daily home prayer every night. She would take me to Holy Mass every day and to prayer groups. She was very pious and very active in Parish activities, and she was member of the Parish council and leader of a prayer group till she became very sick. In addition, I was an altar server in my Parish from 4th grade till I joined seminary and also I was a member of Little Way Association. My mother generously supported my vocation.
All these things cultivated a desire to join the seminary. While I was attending catechism class in my parish, Fr. Varghese came and introduced the Piarist Fathers. So I went for vocation camp and I got selected. So I joined the Piarist Fathers in Aroor, Kerala in June 2000. I did my higher secondary studies in St. Augustine’s H.S.S, Aroor from 2001 to 2003. I studied in St. Albert’s College, Ernakulam, Kerala from 2003 to 2006 and graduated with a degree in Botany. I entered the Pre Novitiate in June 2005 in Kerala. I did my novitiate in Cebu, Philippines from 2006 to 2007 and I made my simple profession on May 2007 in Cebu, Philippines. Then I did my bachelor’s degree in Philosophy in Kristu Jyoti College, Bangalore, India from 2007 to 2009.
After my philosophical studies, I was supposed to go as a regent to the Initiation Formation House of Piarist Fathers in Tamil Nadu. But at that time all foreign fathers went back to their Provinces from India, and the Indian fathers took charge of the Piarists in India. The Father who became major superior of the Indian Piarists asked me to leave the Order for two years. The reason he said was that I was not complaining to the superiors about the bad deeds of my batch mate. But in reality, my formators knew about him well.
I went out of the formation house and remained out of seminary for three and a half years. The father who sent me out was not my formator during my formation, and we never lived together in the same community. He did not know anything about me. One morning he came to my community and asked me to leave. Later I knew that he had misconceptions about me. I contacted all my formators and informed them about the matter. Since they were not the members of the Vice Province of India, they could not do anything for me directly. They asked me to study, and they informed everything to the Fr. General.
During this time, I did a Master’s Degree in Botany in Fatima Mata National College, Kollam, Kerala from 2009-2011. When the Fr. General came to India, I spoke with him, and then he checked all my reports and asked the opinion of my Novice Master about me. The Fr. General asked me to reenter the Order through the USA and Puerto Rico Province with the permission of Fr. Fernando Negro Sch. P., the provincial of this province. After my studies, I tried to go to the US, but my F1 visa was rejected. So the Fr. General asked me to go Cameroon. There I did my repetition of my simple profession on April 2013 in our community in Bamenda, Cameroon.
The time spent outside of the Order and the hardships and struggles I experienced really helped me to know the value of religious life and the priesthood. When my application for the R1 visa was approved I came back to India. One month after I arrived in India, my mother died due to a silent heart attack. She had been very sick for years. After the 30th day after my mother’s death, I came to the United States to start my theological studies. Now I am studying my theological studies in St. Joseph major seminary, New York.